Designing Energy Efficient VS Cost Effective
Every year, more Phoenix homeowners are seeking out energy saving, environmentally responsible building materials for their homes. The quandary comes when the more energy efficient materials cost more than the older, less efficient types of material.
As the cost of living continues to rise, we are all looking for ways to save money.
Today, probably the single largest home budget expenditure, after the mortgage, is the energy bill. There is no question that using energy efficient materials are among the most cost efficient ways to lower monthly bills.
A good example of cost efficiency is using a metal roof. Metal roofs are now recognized as one of the top materials for cool roofing. In addition, metal roofs are now available with an extra reflective coating to make them even more energy efficient. A metal roof is estimated to lower your energy costs by up to 50%.
While a metal roof can cost twice as much as an asphalt roof, it is estimated to last two to three times as long. This is especially true in a hot climate where asphalt shingles degrade quickly. A metal roof is also likely to withstand all types of extreme weather, such as, high winds, heavy snow, hailstorms, and even wildfires. Given that a metal roof is virtually maintenance free, can last 30 to 60 years, and can cut energy costs by up to 50%, it is both one of the most cost efficient and energy efficient choices.
Heating and Air Conditioning Unit
Another place the initial expenditure can be recouped through energy savings is your heating and air conditioning unit. Up to half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Old, leaky, uninsulated duct work is a big energy waster. Sealing and insulating your duct work can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by 20 percent or more. Furthermore, having duct work run through the floors rather than the attic makes them even more efficient.
If your heating and cooling system is over ten years old it is often recommended that you replace it. Heating and cooling costs comprise about one half of a home’s total energy bill. It is estimated that you can save 30% in energy costs by replacing an old unit with a new energy efficient one, so at that rate it may take only a few years to pay for itself. A new heating and cooling system increases the value of your home, while making it a more comfortable place, and saving you money.
Energy Star Rated Materials and Appliances
Energy efficient doors and windows are another opportunity to become more energy efficient and cost effective. Using energy star windows and doors in new construction is a no brainer, but replacing old windows and doors with new may take a little longer to recoup the costs. New highly efficient doors and windows can save anywhere from $100-$500 per year in energy costs. They also bring about a 75% return if you sell your home.
There are more savings to be found by purchasing Energy Star rated materials and appliances. In existing homes, Energy Star roofs, windows, doors, heating and air conditioning, water heaters, and insulation, all qualify for some type of federal tax credit. Some states are still offering a rebate of $150 upon installing a radiant heating system or replacing your furnace with an approved appliance.
So you don’t have to choose between energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, you can have the best of both. In addition, every energy improvement you make helps to cut greenhouse gasses and leave a smaller carbon footprint in our world, making it a better place for everyone.
A professional architectural draftsman in Arizona recognizes these major ways to save energy and produce energy efficient homes. Contact the draftsmen at John Anthony Drafting & Design today to learn what energy efficient ideas you can include in your new custom home.